Today’s question is pretty straight-forward. Will we ever see a new country added to EPCOT? The World Showcase has not added a new country to its lineup of nations since Norway joined in 1989. And NO, the Frozen additions to the Norway pavilion do not count as a new country. At times, the World Showcase can feel very stale as many of the movies have not been updated in many, many years. It is also very light on attractions with just two countries: Mexico and Norway that have attractions. Yes, I know Norway’s attraction is become Frozen-ified. Yes, it’s sad but things and times change and we have to adapt.
There is plenty of room in the World Showcase for a new country to move in:
Expansion area #1 is out. That space is going to be taken by expansion of the Norway pavilion to accommodate guests, a new Frozen meet-and-greet, and expansion to what was Maelstrom. Expansion areas #7 and #8 currently house World Showcase buildings which are used during such events as the Food and Wine Festival. The American Adventure needs the space around it because of the forced perspective to give the look that the buildings are smaller than they appear.
As a result, the best slots for expansion are areas 2-6. The area around 2 and 3 is the best place for expansion since it has the most room. However, it is also the current location of the African Outpost. Ideally, any new country would be an African country to keep the general flow and feel of the World Showcase the same. The question becomes what African countries are willing to move into this space?
There is a myth out there that the country has to bankroll the construction of the pavilion. The country does not have to bankroll construction. However, they do have support the pavilion with cast members from the countries, provide access to native resources (ex. water from Naples for the pizza dough at Via Napoli). etc.
Another thing to consider is: can the country bring anything different to the World Showcase table? A country like Switzerland could be a great addition to the World Showcase. It could bring a fondue restaurant (both cheese and chocolate) and possibly a Matterhorn attraction to the World Showcase. I know people who might never leave the pavilion. But what does Switzerland add that France, Italy, and Germany don’t already bring to the table. Switzerland borders all three countries and culturally it is a melting pot of all three nations.
The last thing to consider is: Is the country willing to come into the World Showcase? The general public and even Disney might think a particular country would be a great addition to the World Showcase. However,if the country isn’t willing to come to Disney and the World Showcase, then it’s just a pipe dream. There are some countries which would be great additions to the World Showcase but for a variety of reasons the country balks at joining the World Showcase lineup.
In conclusion, do I think that we will ever see new country added to the World Showcase? Yes, I think we will. I think the World Showcase will be around for a long, long time. At some point, Disney will approach a country about joining the World Showcase and the stars will lineup and we will have a new country in the World Showcase.
Now the last question. What country do I think will be added to the World Showcase? I put this question up for debate in the early days of the blog. I think there are five prime candidates for a new World Showcase country:
- Argentina (excellent wineries, Spanish and Italian influence, only negative – terrible currency and debt situation)
- Australia (diverse English-speaking culture, good relations with countries in the World Showcase, permanent fixture at Food and Wine Festival)
- Brazil (excellent steakhouse, Portuguese culture, thriving economy)
- India (Large population mostly untapped by US Disney parks, unique style of cuisine to World Showcase,)
- Russia (Large country by land mass, good population for Disney to tap into, strained relations with US at times, sinking economy)
Thanks for reading!